How to collect the stem cells for a Bone Marrow Transplant?

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Bone marrow harvesting from the lumbar region

Bone marrow (BM). The haematopoietic progenitor or stem cells are collected directly from the bone marrow using puncture aspiration techniques at the rear of the pelvis or hip bone. This type of extraction is carried out in an operating theatre under general anaesthesia and the donor must be admitted to hospital for at least 1 day.

Blood collection from a bone marrow transplant patient

Peripheral blood. The stem cells are collected from a peripheral vein. Under normal conditions these cells circulate in the blood stream at very low concentrations. A drug that stimulates their production is administered to increase the concentration of the haematopoietic progenitor cells. The drug is administered subcutaneously for several days and after confirming there are enough haematopoietic stem cells circulating in the blood stream a procedure called aphaeresis is used to extract a sample. The sample is centrifuged and the stem cells are specifically selected. The resulting product can be administered while fresh or frozen (cryopreserved) for transplant at a later date. 

Baby and umbilical cord blood

Umbilical cord. Stem cells can be obtained from umbilical cord blood during childbirth. This blood is processed and the haematopoietic stem cells are selected, frozen and stored (cryopreserved) in public or private tissue banks. 

Substantiated information by:

Ariadna Domenech Bachiller
Carla Ramos Serrano
Gonzalo Gutierrez Garcia

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 20 February 2018


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